30 Years Ago: MOTÖRHEAD release Orgasmatron on GWR Records (Two Thousand Years of Misery)

As it turned out, Bill was good for getting sounds, but he fucked everything up in the mix. It was a much better album when he took it to New York than when he brought it back. A bunch of us – our people, Laswell’s people – got together for the grand, first-time playing and our publicist brought a case of champagne to ring in the occasion properly. It was dreadful. Orgasmatron was mud. There was supposed to be a four-part harmony on ‘Ain’t My Crime’, but he wiped three of them out! I won’t bore you with the rest of the ‘highlights’. Suffice to say that our publicist was edging the crate of champagne back under the desk with her foot, while Laswell’s manager was standing by the door, bopping determinedly. It was hopeless.
– Lemmy, White Line Fever

Orgasmatron was released on this day in 1986. It was the first MOTÖRHEAD album on the short-lived GWR (Great Western Road) Records. The company was formed after MOTÖRHEAD left Bronze, their label for Overkill to Another Perfect Day.

GWR was a joint venture between MOTÖRHEAD manager Douglas Smith, who together with manager Dave Simmons bought the band out of their contract with Bronze, and Legacy Records’ Ray Richards, who bought Bronze’s catalogue.

Between 1986 and 1991 GWR reissued some old MOTÖRHEAD titles and licensed albums from bands including CRO-MAGS, DEATHWISH, T.S.O.L., HOLY MOSES and other thrash / hardcore bands along with heavy metal and a few Hawkwind records.

Now some music business

In 1991/1992 Smith left GWR and Richards sold both GWR and Bronze catalogues to Castle Communications. Castle was bought by Sanctuary Records Group, the name you’ll see on modern pressings. Sanctuary were bought by Universal, then sold to BMG (with distribution by Warner) a few years ago.

Inevitably these classic recordings will be passed around between other huge corporations again in the future.
All the aces held by people who ain’t got faces.

I didn’t come up with the title Orgasmatron right off the bat. The album’s working title was Riding with the Driver (each Motörhead studio album, except Bastards, which we made in 1993, is named after one of its songs), but that track didn’t turn out as good as we’d hoped. I didn’t even know at the time that an ‘Orgasmatron’ was a contraption in some Woody Allen film – I never saw the movie – but I’ve been told about it quite often since! However, I made up the word on my own. A lot of our fans consider this album on of our ‘classics’, and there are some great songs on it – the title track and ‘Deaf Forever’, for example. I’ll always have problems with the way it was mixed, though. As far as I’m concerned it was only half the album it should have been.
– Lemmy, White Line Fever